The Climate Action Plan commits to delivering a just transition recognising the significant level of change required and that burdens borne must be seen to be fair. Developing the opportunities in a decarbonising economy is recognised as a key pillar to the Climate Action Plan and in this regard the Plan envisages that existing initiatives and structures will be mobilised to maximise enterprise opportunities.
This specifically includes support for the work underway in the Midlands to deal with the challenges facing Bord na Móna, its employees and various contractors and businesses including local services which depend on the current business model. Early and complete phase-out of peat and coal for electricity generation will have a significant impact on the workers, their families and the Midlands Region as a whole. In this context, a whole-of-Government approach to addressing this challenge is being implemented working with local stakeholders to ensure that people impacted can be best supported.
Just Transition Commissioner
The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment appointed Kieran Mulvey as Just Transition Commissioner in November 2019 to engage with relevant stakeholders in the Midlands region and to recommend the essential elements of a just transition for workers and communities in the Midlands, including through:
Delivery of the just transition measures provided for in Budget 2020, in particular an operating model for the new Just Transition Fund (further details below)
Implementation of other actions underway, or planned, by Government Departments, agencies, and companies, including the four competitive funds under Project Ireland 2040
Any additional actions\measures deemed appropriate
Optimal structures or processes to support co-ordinated and effective delivery of a Just Transition in the Midlands, including developing liaison channels between institutions in the region and central government